Mousse, of the Chocolate Variety

I was a bit hesitant walking into this week’s class.  Reading the syllabus beforehand, I thought I was in for a long and arduous afternoon.  I was wrong. 

Although making this chocolate mousse cake involves many steps and requires careful mixing, it really is an easy cake to make. 

Part 1 – Japonais Biscuit

There are two thin biscuit layers in this cake.  Japonais biscuit is made of ground almonds, icing sugar, egg whites and cornstarch.  We whipped the egg whites and sugar on high until firm peaks formed.  Then the dry ingredients were mixed in by hand, a little at a time until all blended.  The mixture looks a bit like meringue but is a bit runny.  Using our piping bags and a #5 tip, we piped thin rounds, about 6.5 inches in diameter and then into the oven to bake  for about 20 minutes, just until golden. 

Mini versions of the Japonais Biscuit

Part 2 – Dark Chocolate Mousse (Pate a Bombe)

Pate a Bombe is a french term for egg yolks beaten with a sugar syrup, then aerated. It is the base used for many mousse and buttercream recipes. This part of the recipe required whipping and heating several different components.  The first step was to whip cream to soft peaks which took about 7 – 10 minutes.  As the cream whipped, we melted butter and chocolate over a double burner, once melted that was set aside.  Seven eggs and sugar were heated over a double burner until hot to touch. Heating it up kills any bacteria in the eggs, helps dissolve the sugar and helps it to whip up better.  This mixture was then whipped until it lightened up, was airy and hit ribbon stage.  Ribbon stage means that the mixture is just thick enough that if you were to lift out the whisk and move it, the egg would run in a line, like a ribbon.  The egg mixture was then added to the chocolate mixture and mixed by hand.

In the meanwhile, we mixed some gelatin and water, and let the gelatin bloom.  We then placed the bloomed gelatin over the double burner to dissolve it.  It would eventually be tempered with the warm chocolate mixture and then fully incorporated.  Lastly, the whipped cream was gently folded in so as not to deflate it. 

Part 4 – Assembly

One biscuit round on the bottom of the cake round, layer the chocolate mousse halfway, place another biscuit layer, then the rest of the mousse right to the top of the cake round.  Into the blast chiller to set. 

Part 5 – Chocolate Glaze

This glaze could also be called ganache and I am super stoked to finally know how to make this.  So easy!  We simply heated cream, sugar and glucose (could also use corn syrup or honey) until boiling.  Once boiling, it was poured over chocolate and mixed until all the chocolate melted.  Done and ready to be poured over the cake. 

Part 6 – Finishing off the cake

The glaze is poured over top and smoothed over.  I then shaved some white and dark covering chocolate and layered all over the glaze.  Voila, Chocolate Mousse Cake. 

It was rich, creamy, smooth, chocolaty, yummy, my dinner tonight.  =)


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